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Old 06-17-2008   #1
Silver Supra
Super Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 170
Default Two-channel pre-amp recommendations please

Guys -

I am in the market for a 2-channel preamp and am looking for recommendations.

The rest of my system is comprised of an Esoteric DV-50 source, NuForce Ref9V2 SE mono amps, Aerial 10T speakers, Audio Magic silver wiring throughout.

Here's what my ideal preamp would have:

1. XLR in and out
2. Musical and detailed - if I had to lean in one direction over the other I would lean musical.
3. Cannot be sloppy in the bass department or the Aerials will bloat like crazy.
4. REMOTE!! I would prefer a full function but could live with volume only if I had to.
5. My absolute upper limit is about $5k on the used market.

I really like tubes in my system as it nicely balances the detail of the Esoteric and the speed of the NuForce's. I've used an ARC LS26 and while it was very good I felt I wanted more of the tube magic.

Here are a few contenders I'm looking at.

Levinson 326S
Cary SLP-05
Aesthetix Calypso - but it's a long way back due to noise issues and it's appetite for tubes

What else should I consider?

Pass X1 was a consideration but is out of the running due to the excessively large volume jumps (3dB per click!!) - what was Nelson thinking?!?!?!

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